Fleur East says X Factor needs to be ‘freshened up’ amid return talks

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Fleur East has given her opinion on reports The X Factor is set to return (Fleur East at Ring’s NeighbourGood Café)
Fleur East has given her opinion on reports The X Factor is set to return (Fleur East at Ring’s NeighbourGood Café)

Fleur East has said The X Factor needs “freshening up” amid talks of the show making a comeback.

It comes as Simon Cowell contacted Sinitta about rebooting The X Factor.

East, 34, made it to The X Factor live show rounds not once but twice - first as part of vocal group Addictiv Ladies in 2005, who were eliminated after the first week, and again as a solo artist in 2011 where she finished second.

Singer and radio presenter Fleur East originally shot to fame as a contestant on The X Factor (Getty Images)
Singer and radio presenter Fleur East originally shot to fame as a contestant on The X Factor (Getty Images)

Speaking to the Standard, she said: “There’s nothing quite like the show and I think we all miss it. I don’t know if it’s too soon to come back, that’s the only thing because I feel like we should really be missing it, like craving it almost and then it comes back. It has only been like, two years now.

“I do think if they bring it back that they’ve really got to freshen it up and make it really different because if they just come back with the same feel and the same energy that will be a bit disappointing.”

The show served as a launchpad for East who has since released two albums, taken part on I’m A Celebrity and can be heard presenting The Hits Radio Breakfast show every weekday.

During lockdown, she also taught herself how to record and produce her own vocals - a skill she used to release NHS charity single Not Alone.

The East London-born star recently helped launch the first NeighbourGood Café which sees customers pay for hot drinks and pastries with “good deeds” instead of cash payment.

Set up by home security company, Ring, the limited edition cafe is aiming to reignite the community spirit that blossomed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Good deeds could be anything ranging from “good skills” such as helping fix a fence or replanting a community garden to “good minutes” including offering to dog sit for a neighbour.

Fleur East recently helped to launch the first Ring’s NeighbourGood Café in London (Handout)
Fleur East recently helped to launch the first Ring’s NeighbourGood Café in London (Handout)

While the London pop-up has now closed, others are planned across the country with dates to be announced.

Each have the aim of encouraging people to connect within the local community, try locally-sourced goods and learn more about the people living in the area.

Getting onboard with the project was a no-brainer for self-confessed people-person East.

She said: “I’ve recently moved and just realised how important it is to connect with your neighbours so I invited them round to my house and a few of them were saying, like, ‘thank you so much, we really appreciate you inviting us round to your house’.

“And now it’s like it feels different, you feel like a family now, like when you walk past and you see each other it’s like ‘hey!’ and it’s a different kind of hello and you feel protected and you know everyone’s looking out for each other.

“So many people [don’t know their neighbours] and it’s crucial. We learned the importance of connecting and having that sense of community and like you belong during lockdown.”

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